Bridge to Brigadoon
Our guest for today is Stephanie Parker McKean from Texas, who is currently living in Scotland. She is the author of a new book, Bridge to Brigadoon, a Christian mystery-romance-suspense set in Scotland. We have conducted a short interview with her.
Who is the most interesting character in “Bridge to Brigadoon?”
Good question! There are some great characters including a collie dog named Shiloh who helps move the story with his intelligent thinking and quick intervention. The somberly attractive Reverend Evan Kirkland is complex and surprising for a man of God. Petite, brave Keavy must grow up fast at sixteen to handle the mystery and miasma surrounding her grandfather’s nursing home and help solve the mystery of his murder. But none of them can compete with Texas Miz Mike, better known as “Miz Mike” to her friends back home. Michal Allison Rice, who writes mysteries as a career, finds herself embroiled in real murder mysteries outside her books. “Bridge to Brigadoon” may be her last when the murderer comes after her. And if she doesn’t get killed, will she ever find love? Men seem intimidated by Mike’s in-your-face attitude toward criminals and her refusal to back down from what she knows is right.
What inspires you first in a Christian mystery-romance-suspense storyline?
Thanks for another good question. First, I must admit that without God’s help – I couldn’t write anything. “Bridge to Brigadoon” is the fourth in the Miz Mike series. I was inspired to write the first Miz Mike, “Bridge to Nowhere,” after reading a newspaper article about a new bridge that cost the county a huge amount of money – and went nowhere. I had to ask, “Why?” Then I wrote a mystery-suspense to answer that question. The second, “Bridge Beyond Betrayal,” is dedicated to my late son USMC Major Luke Parker and includes the prophetic poem he wrote one year before his death. It was inspired by a local resident who “witched” for bones and wanted to get our town into the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest number of bone witchers. Not understanding that it was like dousing for water, some Christians were shocked by the idea…which made me think…wouldn’t Miz Mike’s cowboy hero also be shocked? He was. He betrayed her. “Bridge to Xanadu” was inspired by a Native American teepee builder who participated in all our community events and loved sharing his crafts and heritage. “Bridge to Brigadoon” was inspired by my move from Texas to Scotland…truly in some ways a land that time has left untouched.
How has Scotland influenced “Bridge to Brigadoon?”
In Scotland, a brigadoon is a bridge. Before I moved to Scotland, my only concept of the country came from the Lerner and Loewe’s musical, “Brigadoon,” in which a town only woke up one day every hundred years to protect it from evil influences. Most Scottish folks hate that movie and the phony Scottish accents, but I think the magic and romance hits the mark. Even today, men in kilts play bagpipes in Inverness; the villages are historical and lovely; and mist rolls down over the hills and hides reality…just like in the film. As for Miz Mike, she is faced with learning to drive on the wrong side of the road, not being able to find food and condiments that she considered staples in Texas, and being cold all the time. Road roundabouts scare her to death and she must learn to decipher quaint Scottish words including “stushie,” a word she hates because she is accused of being “an American stushie maker.
In a film, who would you want for the main character?
Sorry, that’s a question I can’t answer. We don’t have a TV. Almost the only movies I’ve ever watched have been old Walt Disney movies. I simply don’t watch TV or movies. When I sit down, it is at the computer to write.
Does any part of the book reflect a true aspect of your life?
Another good question, and the answer is – yes! Moving to Scotland from Texas was a major culture and climate change for me. Miz Mike gets to relive some of my confusion and misery, then move on to joy and appreciation for the beautiful scenery and warm-hearted folks. And, like me, Miz Mike loves chocolate and collie dogs.
Which is one of your favorite scenes or parts in the entire series and why?
You, know…that’s another good question, but I hate it in a way. My favorite scene is from Miz Mike #6, which isn’t published yet, because it’s so funny! But it would be silly to talk about a book that hasn’t been released…so I hope readers will find humor in the first book with Miz Mike’s secret M&M game. Or when Mike’s kind heart sets her up for a blowout with her cowboy hero Marty after he arrives at her ranch and finds her with a collection of men she has befriended – including clueless Clint Flavors who seems to share Miz Mike’s success at solving mysteries in spite of town folk claiming that “his elevator don’t make it to the top floor.” And I hope readers will enjoy the disappearing “murder truck” in Bridge Beyond Betrayal and get a good laugh from Miz Mike’s frenzied flight from a security guard in an empty office building. As for the third Miz Mike, “Bridge to Xanaud,” I’ve been told that female readers fall in love with Chief Alan Bitterroot and hate it when the book ends. My favorite scene in “Bridge to Brigadoon” might be when the wrong police show up at the house and Mike announces that she will get her own police for her attempted murder! Or when Mike tells Evan that he has the wrong name…or when she realizes that she has been rude to a minister. There are so many funny and exciting scenes in “Bridge to Brigadoon” that it makes it difficult to just pick one! Just hope readers will feel the same and become totally engrossed in both the book – and the series!
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